ATHENS – Greece is on a path to bust tourist records for arrivals and spendings – during the waning COVID-19 pandemic – but is reaching out, especially to the super-rich, to keep on coming all year long.
That’s been paying off with people who have money to burn preferring Greece even more this year, flooding the islands, beaches, archaeological sites, museums and cities, and especially luxury resorts for the uber-rich.
That trend is seeing Greece reach out to the wealthy and the New York Post said a great treat for those who can afford it is to rent yachts to cruise around some favored islands in autumn, crowds thinned and heat falling.
The hordes coming this year included some 500,000 Americans, the Tourism Ministry said, and as many as 20 million seen by the year’s end, including the fall when Greece has attractions other than beaches.
“I spend three weeks in Greece every summer and I am gone by July 1,” Kelly Shea, founder of high-end travel agency Kelly Shea Travels told the newspaper. “I can’t deal with the crowds or the heat,” she added.
Her other favorite time of year? September and October, especially by yacht, which isn’t available to the regular crowds budgets unless they or their group can pony up $50,000 a week for starters.
“If the island doesn’t have an airport, you’re relegated to the Greek ferry system, which is complicated and inconsistent. If you charter a boat, you can go where you want when you want, assuming the distance is feasible,” she said.
Greece in the autumn still has warm but not searing temperatures and a different, softer and more casual vibe and there are plenty of yachts to choose from if you and a group want to chip in for the extravagance.
“From September onward, the temperature is very good, from 28 to 32 degrees centigrade, (82-90 Fahrenheit,”) Dimitris Altanis, a captain based in Athens, told The Post.
“And while there can be some rain, there’s not much in the Cyclades and only for a few minutes at most.” It’s his favorite time to sail, he said, the paper noting that it will cost about $6,000 per person for a group of six for a week’s touring.
The paper recommended looking for a reputable broker, and pointed out one as Ben Lyons, CEO of EYOS Expeditions, who said the yachts were a hot draw this summer but there’s some left for visiting the Cycladic islands now.
“You don’t need to vet 20 brokers, just find someone you trust. Our philosophy is to connect you to a vessel that we personally know and help curate the experience,” he said.
The choices range from a 75-foot three-cabin yacht sleeping eight and for $20,000 a week up to $100,000 and more so those who can’t afford it need not apply. “There is a serenity to Greece in fall that isn’t otherwise there,” said Lyons.